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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  October 11, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT

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watch and we heard back from the president's team he said he had a watch from the secret service. >> it was a terrorist attack. let's be honest about it. >> mitt romney charged with flip-flopping again on abortion. >> i'll be a pro life president. >> frank bruni, my all-star
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candidate, going toe to toe. this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening, 27 days to go until the election, look where we stand tonight, on the latest cnn polls, 47% for mitt romney, 47% for president obama. anything could happen in this race, shows you how high the stakes are going into the vice presidential debate. preparations are under way in danville, kentucky, and joe biden is getting ready for preparations. and paul ryan arrived, and mitt romney on the campaign trail in the battleground state of ohio. >> we have not had the strong leadership we needed in washington to take on our challenge, time and again, the president has told us he'd take on some of these things but has not. and then he turns around and tries to blame others, congress won't get together, congress won't get together unless there
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is a strong leadership that puts them together. he has not, i will. >> listen to what he told diane sawyer on abc. >> if you have a bad game, you just move on, move on the next one. and it makes you that much more determined. the difference between this and sports is, the stakes are so high. >> joining me now, to preview the debate, reince priebus. >> the president looks mean there, looking like he is coming back strong, looks like he had a poor game and flexing his muscles, are you frightened? >> no, he also said today that he thinks he has been too polite. so maybe it means instead of just calling mitt romney a liar once a day, he will call us that five times a day.
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i don't know, his message is pretty weak, he doesn't have a lot to stand on, i was a lawyer, it is sort of like going into a closing argument, when you don't have a decent argument on your side, it is tough to pull off. but that is what he is doing, talking about big bird, and calling his opponent, liar, liar, pants on fire, that is the new president obama for 2012. >> you guys certainly have a new confidence, led by governor romney, who is bouncing off the walls. but obviously, you know these things can change very quickly. an interesting moment today, reminding people of two concerns, i would imagine for the campaign, one, mitt romney's reputation as a flip-flopper, and the other, issues coming back to the front, when you least expect them to. let's listen to mitt romney talking about abortion. >> do you intend to pursue legislation specifically regarding abortion?
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>> there is no legislation regarding abortion that i'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda. >> now the democrats have seized on this, you can't really blame them, because his position on abortion does change, according to the strength. he was very much in favor of pro choice, governor of massachusetts, now he is in favor of pro life. but he always as a pro lifer said we need to revert to roe v wade, people say he says what suits him, depending on whether he is appealing to the hard right of the party, or as he is now, according to bill clinton, mr. moderate mitt, that we haven't seen it for a few months. >> well, first of all, i couldn't hear it very well, i assume it is referring to the des moines register.
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but are there piles of legislation sitting in congress that he is going to point to? the des moines register editorial board? the fact is, he is and has always been committed to being a pro-life president. he is committed to the fact that he will not fund planned parenthood to fund abortions. and committed to not sending foreign aid to countries to fund abortion. he is a pro life president, he is proud of it. and i just think -- i just think many are taking it, referring to one sound bite, piles of legislation, sitting in congress. and it is much ado about nothing, this election is about the economy, the president has not performed. he is chasing every rabbit down the trail to make this thing about his own record, and the miserable condition of the economy. and that is what we'll talk about.
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>> but isn't the problem? it comes down to trust, and therefore, we have to trust him, generally. and even his position on abortion in the last 12 months has flip-flopped on abortion. >> it has not, piers. >> it has. >> it has not, piers -- >> let me put the allegations to you, and you can respond. the allegation is that he was saying before i want to repeal roe versus wade, and i want to power to go to the state. and he says now he has no plans regarding abortion. so which is it? >> listen, he is referring to whether or not there is some piles of legislation in congress that he is pursuing in his presidency. he is committed to, and has said it still yet today the fact that we will not be funding abortion with taxpayer's money, whether it be in his own budget or whether it be in foreign aid.
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he is a pro life president. he believes that life begins at conception. that people at the point of conception deserves the freedoms as preserved by our constitution. there is nothing consistent. this is a rabbit trail, you want to talk about trust? what about this president? he has not provided a single budget that passed through the congress and my counterpart that you will talk to in a few minutes, in three and a half. this economy is in shambles, you want to talk about trust, a guy in love with the sound of his own voice that can't follow through with a promise, that is president obama, we want to talk about that. >> does it matter, do you think if a politician changes his position on matters? do you see it as an evolution? >> no, i do hear what you're saying. i do think it is possible that you can learn things about legislation.
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and you can determine things as you go on through life and through your education and politics, and you can change your mind, yes, i think that that is possible. but what i don't think is possible is for a president to make grandiose promises to carpet the world four years ago, knowing the miserable condition of where we were headed, and saying that he would fix this economy. in three years or less or he would be a one-term proposition, not even coming close to his promises. that is different. and i would say that this president's record is a record of making promises and breaking promises. and that is really his problem, why he can't stand in front of a debate moderator for 90 minutes and make his case in front of the american people. that is his problem, he didn't have a bad night, he had a bad game. he is not capable of bringing a good game if you don't have a good game to bring. >> okay, reince priebus joining us.
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>> he says he doesn't have a bad game, he has no game. >> well, it is not really surprising that my counterpart is being critical of president obama, when he has his own candidate, who as you said has not -- this is an etch a sketch, this is mitt romney deceiving, trying to hide the ball. last week on the debate stage, mitt romney decided to deceive the people that he didn't have a five trillion tax cut plan that would increase taxes on the middle class to pay for taxes on the millionaire and billionaires. now he tells the register that he wouldn't make abortion a part of his agenda. i mean, this is the same mitt romney that said he would be delighted to ban abortions if
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congress sent it to him. his lead running mate has been the sponsor of many legislations that would totally stop women. mitt romney has been a severely conservative candidate for president. now that he notices that the policies could make sure he does not have is a chance of being elected, he is trying to hide who he is and what he stands for. we won't let him get away with it. >> when it comes to trust, though, we're watching the hearings on the libya attack. and there is no doubt, now, there is an issue on the trust with the white house and the statements that came out from the various ambassadors and so on, what do you make it? what it a scandal? should heads roll? >> well, first of all, piers, president obama knew ambassador chris stevens, knew him personally and was so
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appreciative of his work. as president of the united states, that diplomat core works for him. and he nominates those ambassadors. so what we need to do when the united states has been attacked, when the americans have been killed while serving our country, we don't need to have mitt romney and the republicans in congress taking their first instinct, being to take cheap political shots -- >> hold on a minute, because it was not about what mitt romney which was clumsy in its own way, but the suggestion that ambassador rice made statements that were blaming -- this video -- >> piers. >> it must have been known after four or five days that it was much more likely to have been a terrorist attack that it would have been planned. >> piers, i can't even believe you would suggest that ambassador rice would make misleading statements. at the beginning of this, it was very unclear as to what happened.
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the main thing was rather than make snap judgments that we take a step back, make sure a full investigation was done. >> let me rephrase it. do you accept that ambassador rice was simply wrong? >> well, i think has more information came out, the initial information that they had was perceived to be that the attack was the result of protests. and as the investigation has worn on, which is the responsible way to deal with it, we have come out and the administration has said well, it is clear that now it was the result of a terrorist attack. but what we don't need to do, and what is irresponsible, is that my republican colleagues in congress have the first instinct they have had, piers, is to jump on the cheap political opportunities that they're using this to be. instead of closing ranks and saying there has been an attack against americans, americans serving our country have been killed.
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we need to get to the bottom of this together and make sure that we take steps to prevent this from happening again. this is not a political opportunity. >> if you're the family of those who lost their lives, the americans who lost their lives. >> especially the family of those who lost their lives. >> i think you move on from worrying about what mitt romney said and when he said it, you're much more concerned if there was much security. clearly, there was not. and secondly, with all the mass intelligence in the white house that you have, the pentagon and so on, why could you make statements four or five days later, with completely the wrong information for what has provoked this attack? >> piers, because these investigations are complicated and detailed. and rather than say absolutely nothing, rather than not give information to the american people, ambassador rice went out and talked about what they believed to be happening at the time, with the information on -- from the intelligence community
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that she had. and as time wore on, as responsibly the investigation revealed more details, they came back and said no, there was a terrorist attack. but it is irresponsible, wrong for my republican colleagues to be jumping on this as a political opportunity -- please, piers, you keep not letting me -- >> you are flogging the wrong dead horse, it is not about what mitt romney did. the really important horse that should be flogged is the behavior and the statements of those who were in a position of responsibility, and we would assume, knowledge. and it is pretty un-american to be putting out completely false statements before you know the facts, isn't it? >> piers, it is not okay for you to be saying that the administration was putting out completely false statements. they put out information that they had at the time based on the intelligence they were
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given, and as the days wore on and more -- it doesn't mean it was false. >> what? >> it doesn't mean that it was deliberate. >> now, wait a minute, wait a minute. if you put out a false statement. >> piers. >> then it is false. >> but you're suggesting -- >> piers, you're suggesting it was somehow deliberate. it was not deliberation. what they did, it was important to get information out that they had at the time. and they did that. and as they learned more information they corrected the original information that they put out. but there was nothing sinister here, this was simply the president of the united states making sure that we did a careful investigation, gave the american people the information that they needed at the time, that we had at that time based on our intelligence, and as the intelligence was updated at the time, we gave them the updated information. there is nothing sinister about that. what is terribly unfortunate is that you do, there is no way around these investigations that the republicans and mitt romney
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have left to go after the administration, questioning whether or not there was any kind of deliberate attempt to mislead. they're supposed to be closing ranks, working together -- >> it is necessary to make sure the statements are accurate. thank you. >> thank you. >> when we come back, a man not afraid to say what he thinks, frank bruni, i want to get his thoughts and directions, next. @p
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i need you to go out and find neighbors who voted for president obama to come and join our team. i need you to come out and find people, get them to vote, get them to vote absentee, this is a critical election, ohio could well be the next place that elects the president. it is moderate mitt on a roll, joining me now, frank bruni, welcome. >> thanks. >> the last time we saw each other, who could have thought we would be in this position? >> you know, i think both of us secretly thought president obama was cruising to victory, most of us thought that. >> it has completely transformed. no doubt right now if you were betting big money it would be very hard to know who you would put the money on. >> i think i would still put the money on obama, one of the lessons, the way the polls moved is not necessarily that there won't be a surge going on to election day. it is a lesson in the volatility of polls, we could be meeting here and have a discussion after
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the debate. >> although i think the vice presidential debate will be fascinating, and explosive with joe bide really it is about next week. it is about, can he be less polite, more aggressive, take down mitt romney? if romney was to win that debate comfortably, it would be game over. >> yes, tonight's debate doesn't matter as much, last week's debate made. but a certain kind of element and momentum is forming. and if, say, joe biden had a miserable night and we had a couple of other days about the news stories on what happened to the obama administration, if they lost their mojo or moves, it could be -- one doesn't think -- >> and i like the guy and his style. he could have a brilliant debate. my prediction is, he is going to win. however, he has not done public interviews for five months. >> he has been keeping a low profile, but he has an
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advantage, everybody is talking about what a skilled debater ryan is, there are polls out saying he has a much higher approval rating. there is so much pressure on him to beat joe biden, that if joe biden comes out, he kind of wins. >> joe biden became a senator when paul ryan was three years old, i read. isn't that amazing? and let's play a clip from bill clinton, this was from last night. i thought he hit the nail on the head on how the democrats are perceiving the transformation to mitt romney. >> i had a different reaction from the last debate than a lot of other people did. i mean, i thought wow, here is old moderate mitt. where you been, boy? i missed you all of these last two years. >> it is fascinating, i mean
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when you watch this row today again over the abortion comments that mitt romney made, if you chart just his history of statements about abortion, flopping all over the place. >> your head could spin like you're in "the exorcist," i mean, bill clinton is having so much fun. the candidates are not -- >> does it help clinton that he is so brilliant? it could almost work against him, people watch him being aggressive, all the things we didn't see from the president in the other night? could it hurt him? >> it could hurt him, as i watched it, i thought about the animation in his voice, his face, barack obama looked like he didn't want to be there. the contrast is not a good one. however, we should not under estimate the fact that president clinton is a hugely popular ex-president and has a lot of voters behind him. >> and the libya situation, extraordinary comments that
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debbie wasserman made, it has nothing to do with mitt romney, the white house, how the president dealt with it. it seems not good enough that you can put out whole wrong statements five days after a terror attack. >> yes, i have to take issues with what she said. she said they were not false, the point is, they judged to conclusions, they may not have in the first days put out information that they knew to be false. but they decided to jump to a conclusion that did not kind of criticize or do anything negative to the war on terror and the obama successes, in that regard. and if you jump to a conclusion you don't yet know is true, i am not sure much better that is than lying. >> and if you don't know if it is a terrorist attack, just say that we have been struck by terror again and will come down
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hard again, what is wrong with that position? >> there is nothing wrong with that position or them asking the questions in the hearings. the problem is, there is grand standing going on, we have this situation. american lives were lost, we have this situation, what it means in terms of security going forward? we won't get answers, because on the hill, it is so partisan and everybody is just jockeying for positions. >> put your hat on, and tell us? >> i think because the expectation is so heavy that ryan wins, i think biden wins. >> i agree, and romney and the president -- >> i think we'll talk about how good obama was, because nobody, everybody is going to compare it to his last debate. >> i got a feeling that romney could nick it again, which could make things interesting. and what will it take for him to win? we'll debate tonight "battleground america" coming up next. you've been busy for a dead man.
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president obama is taking on mitt romney tonight, accusing him of flip-flopping on key issues welcome to you both.
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before we go anywhere, i want to play this attack regarding the comments on abortion. >> this is another example of governor romney hiding positions he has been campaigning on for a year and a half. >> is it a lie? >> i mean, governor romney has made it very clear that if a bill comes to his desk that overturns roe versus wade, he will sign it. and he has said he will overturn roe versus wade. and now four weeks before the election, he is trying to cloud the question. >> he has performed more flip-flops on abortion than almost any politician ever. >> i don't think this is a flip-flop, you can be pro life, but also say we have to turn this economy around first.
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mitt romney has been running on this five-point plan to save the economy, and it has things like we're going to fix trade -- >> yes, yes, yes, but hang on, yes, but the reason that he is the nominee, is because he battled in the nominee race, i remember, i was covering it at the time. day after day, and one of the main stronger arguments he had was on his social conservatism. he suddenly hardened his position, he was absolutely against gay marriage, against all abortions, and so on. now, suddenly, we have, as president clinton said today, moderate mitt, the guy we remember from massachusetts, who is it? >> it is not that he changed a position, there is a difference that if a bill came to my desk and signed it. or i would go to congress to fight for a bill. there is a difference, he is pro life, but that is not a piece of legislation, he says he has in his mind. >> okay, charles blow, he certainly had it in his mind
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earlier because that was when he appealed to the tea party and the hard right of the tea party to make him the nominee. now he has a real chance of winning, suddenly we're seeing a much more moderate mitt romney in all of these areas, much less threatening you might say to a wider group. >> right, i think this is an intentional playing with language. and i think the president is absolutely right when he says that he is intentionally trying to cloud this issue. and i think that is actually a dangerous thing. but i think the american people have to actually step up and say i don't want this type of a leader. i don't want somebody who says one thing one day, and another thing another day. and i even argue with the idea of calling it a flip-flop. because he doesn't seem to have flip-flopped, he basically has the same position, he is just saying one thing one day, and another on don't day. flip-flopping, is you have changed your mind. there is no indication that mitt romney has changed his mind about anything.
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>> well, when he was governor of massachusetts, he was pro choice. now, he is pro life. >> that was a flip-flop, this latest incarnation is not the same as changing one's mind. in fact, you had reince priebus on tonight, saying he would be a pro life president. he basically ticked off the entire things that mitt romney said in the primaries. so there was no latest thing that he has in fact changed his mind. he is just basically pitching a softer mitt to the cameras, for the middle, the swing voters, trying to pick up more women, going into the home stretch. >> and of course, the difficulty is that it brings women's issues right to the fore again when he least wants them to. because he was doing very well, not talking about gay rights and
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abortion, suddenly he is on the back foot again, having to deal with it. >> in the entire democratic convention, they were bringing this issue up and up and over again, and what did we come back to again? the economy, that is what this election is about, what it is going to be on november the 6th. the attempts to try to put it on the other issues, it is not coming from the romney campaign but sort of everywhere else that wants to talk about anything but the economy. i think romney is going to talk about the economy, no matter what everybody else wants him to talk about? >> you don't think abortion is an important issue? >> no, no, i think that the economy is the most important thing, as long as he has a plan, i think the women voters who make up the majority of the electorate, the women make up the majority of the voters, that is what they want and what they care about. >> okay, when we come back we'll
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>> tell them about the millions of jobs obama has created, and the kids, tell them about the millions of lives that will be changed. tell him thousand obama ended the war in iraq. tell them how together, we took out osama bin laden. >> that is obama's top campaigner, the first lady in colorado today, making the case for her husband. back now, charles blow and kristen soltis. i mean, i get the feeling that after barack obama got home after the debate the other night, i imagine a few doors got slammed. what the heck were you doing obama? >> i am not going to speculate.
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>> i reckon it was the spare room for the president. >> but i do believe she is a very strong advocate for the president. i believe that he is now understanding the depths to which that debate performance hurt him, and actually hurt people that were for him. i think they are trying to re-calibrate. the other thing i think they're trying to do is stop a little bit of some of the democratic panic. that some people on the left are looking at this and thinking they see a surge by mitt romney. they saw the performance, there is not another debate until tomorrow. the president doesn't debate until next week. what is going to stop the polls from moving? >> i agree with you, i think andrew sullivan, the accent is ridiculous, part of the blogs, it is the end of the world as we know it. it is all over, we're all doomed.
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come on, kristen soltis, how important is the vice president debate? if joe biden eats paul ryan for dinner is that going to change things dramatically? or is everybody really waiting for the next one? >> i don't think that paul ryan is on the menu -- >> oh, he is on the menu, don't worry about that. >> oh, i expect that vp joe biden will be very aggressive, an interesting test driver for the sorts of arguments and strategy that you might see come out of obama in the next week and next debate. if joe biden does well, i think you will see barack obama do well, and if it goes badly, i think people will say oh, that is just joe biden, he makes gaffes, i think it is very important for both candidates for many reasons, for ryan, it is really important because he still has to introduce himself to the american people. he is really going to get asked
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a lot of questions about his ideas. he has always been a bold guy putting ideas, out there. they will have to defend their positions. >> i think joe biden is a very experienced campaigner. he likes to get his gloves on and go for it. and paul ryan could be in trouble, cornered by a raging bull. >> i think that is true, this is also a different moderator from the last debate. this idea that paul ryan says it is a little too wonky for you, the numbers are too hard, don't worry your pretty little head, just trust me. that is not going to fly in every situation, and particularly not in a debate where you have an aggressive debater like joe biden. and you have a different moderator that won't let you slide. >> but it matter -- i watched him the other night and said come on, you have to get in there. the time has changed. >> otherwise, you can just let them draw uno cards, you do have to say.
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and i'm sure, he is a great guy has done his home work obviously. if somebody says something that obviously contradicts, something you can say, however, you say that was said the other day, how does it square tonight? >> if anybody is watching i can imagine -- i would absolutely love it, only thing -- i would love to do it. anyway, charles blow, kristen soltis, thank you both very much. come back and see us. up next, what voters care about the economy. let's discuss that after the break. [ male announcer ] break the grip of back or arthritis pain
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with the economy front and center, president obama and governor romney are each making the case that they can create jobs and get people working again. as we know, it is easier said than done, laura tyson, of the henry jackson initiative, laura is also a member of president obama's council on jobs. welcome to you both, ladies. you apparently have the answer to all of our economic and jobs woes in america. linn, tell me what this
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initiative is about. >> well, it is bipartisan, trans-atlantic, and private. so we are outside of the political realm, dealing with what we think is an important situation in america, where the american dream defined as work hard, play by the rules and anything is possible, is kind of in a little bit of ill repute, a bit. larry katz at harvard has a metaphor, for it, saying that america was like the beautiful apartment block years ago, everybody loved it. the beautiful apartment block. now in the apartment block you have the great, beautiful rich, the people up above. the middle floors that are cramped. the lower floors, water-soaked. and the elevator is broken. >> so laura, how do we get the elevator working again?
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>> well, we focused on areas where we think the business community can really get involved. so this is really a private sector, what can the business community do to start what we call an inclusive capitalism, the model that is the best model for growth, and poverty reduction. and history shows that. but we have to look for ways to deal with the increasing ine quality, there is a lot going on in the business community, for example, developing more entrepreneurships. and working with colleges to design the apprenticeships, working with jobs, to get more engineers in the united states. a lot of unfilled jobs are i.t. , engineering, science.
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>> take a company like apple, hugely successful, america's most successful company of all time, employing 90% of the work overseas. and not starbucks -- starbucks and others opening factories, he believes he has a moral duty to open them in the united states, should more business leaders be doing this? >> well, yes, i think of course we need to do that. but of course, there are three million jobs out there that can't be filled because of what laura is saying. and that is really true of apple. because we don't have enough technicians or engineers. so that is part of the problem. we need to start educating people for the jobs that are there. and for the jobs that will be most competitive here. not forcing people to not go abroad, but to come to america where we have the best skilled
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people. >> that -- >> but yours is a bipartisan organization? >> absolutely, right. >> but which of the two leaders right now, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, gives the best chance of fulfilling what you would like to see? >> i really think we have laid the question down to ourselves of, we're asking what the business community will do? and we're not talking about tax policy or macro policy, or regulatory policy. we're saying what can the business do with capitalism? i agree with your assertion that companies, uk companies are in this, as well, there are companies saying to themselves what can i do to create more jobs in my home country? and once you pose the question that way, that is what gets you
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started in things like apprenticeship programs. >> why do they have to be posed that way, the government starting companies and making them more competitive. what will it take for us to do to bring your factories back here? >> so the good news in the united states right now is, if you look longer term, the u.s. has become a more competitive place to do business. the dollar in real inflation-adjusted terms has come down. our energy price environment, because we have had this amazing gas revolution is a much more favorable environment. we have had high productivity growth over a long period of time. so actually there is some now re-shoring going on. companies like ge are actually out there bringing back at the margin jobs they had shifted abroad to come here. that is the first -- >> you mentioned ge -- well -- the tweet got him into all sorts of trouble, challenging these unbelievable job numbers. these chicago guys will do anything.
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>> that is jack welch. i think what laura is saying is so so important that we have an opportunity in the business community regardless of what happens in the election had. and actually, what we're talking about, republicans and democrats coming together to say it is not about politics. it is about we have a fiscal cliff coming. we have 25% unemployment among the young. this is not republican or democratic, this is not capitalists or occupy wall street. this is a problem for all of us. and what we do with the henry jackson initiative is we showcase companies like ibm, like starbucks, like -- >> at&t, ge, there is a whole list of them that we have actually -- in the report and on the website, we basically highlight real examples of what companies are doing. and part of the initiative is to get companies talking to one another about what they are doing, what works, what does not work. then you can actually get groups
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of companies working together in clusters. one of the things discussed in the report is a minnesota group of civic leaders, business leaders, working in a regional development effort to improve competitiveness. so there is a lot that can be done, once you pose the problem. the problem is -- >> well, you posed it right now to millions of people watching this. it's time america's big business, the successful ones, got together, did what you guys did, talk to each other, get stuff done, get america back on track. thank you both. >> thank you, absolutely. coming up, the taliban targets a 14-year-old pakistani girl who refuses to back down to their threats. humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement
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and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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for tonight, the power of one, of all the terrible acts committed by taliban in afghanistan and pakistan, if anything has quite exceeded their attempts to murder a 14-year-old girl. speaking out against the brutality, malala yousufzai, they tried to kill, showing amazing courage, and eloquent last year she won pakistan's national peace award.
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listen to what she told cnn in 2011. >> i have rights, i have the right to education, i have the right to play, the right to sing, the right to talk, the right to go to market. the right to speak up. >> yesterday, militants stopped the van carrying malala yousufzai, they asked who she was, and they opened fire when they found out who she was. she was shot, expected to survive, taken out of the country for treatment. nobody knows the damage she has suffered. meanwhile, a taliban spokesperson took pride in the attack, and said if she survives this time, remember, she won't next time. remember this, if anybody asks questions about what right the americans had to take on the people.
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